Why Game of Thrones Is the Drama to Beat at the Emmy Awards

Kit Harington (as Jon Snow) in Game of Thrones


updated 09/03/2015 AT 7:49 PM ET

originally published 08/24/2014 AT 5:40 PM ET

There are shows that have more smarts than Game of Thrones.

There are shows that have more to say about the human condition than Game of Thrones.

There are many (very many) shows that have more subtlety than Game of Thrones.

But there are no shows that have more more than Game of Thrones.

The HBO fantasy series, which is nominated for outstanding drama series, simply plays at a scale with which nothing else on TV can compete.

Other shows have weddings; this one has a sumptuous feast that climaxes with an evil king choking to death in the arms of his incestuous parents. Other shows have fistfights; this one has a seven-foot strongman hitting an opponent so hard his head literally explodes.

Other shows climax with their character staring longingly into the middle distance; this one climaxes with an army of giants attacking a 700-foot ice wall in order to escape a legion of baby-stealing zombies.

Once you’ve seen that, nothing else on television can come close.

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards air Monday on NBC at 8 p.m. ET

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